The recession in the U.S. ended in June of 2009...
That announcement today from the National Bureau of Economic Research, and it may have had something to do with yet another strong day for U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 broke through a major resistance level of 1130 and the other indexes enjoyed sizeable gains as well. The buying started early this morning, when investors shrugged off a rather dismal report from the National Association of Home Builders. That data showed demand for homes had not improved over last month. However, one homebuilder, Lennar, surprised investors with much better than expected 3rd quarter results. In fact, the company posted nearly triple the earnings per share that analysts had forecast.
There is also a bit of merger activity in the market today that helped fuel the buying. IBM announced a $1.7 billion-dollar takeover of data warehousing provider - Netezza. Netezza shareholders will receive $27 per share from IBM, a premium over its $24.60 closing price on Friday. Teradata was also up sharply, reportedly on speculation it may be a takeover candidate. A few other mergers to mention today: L-1 Identity Solutions will be acquired by Safran for $12 per share and Nu Horizons Electronics will be acquired by Arrow Electronics for $7 per share.
Tomorrow, traders will be waiting for news from the Federal Reserve meeting. While the key interest rate is expected to remain unchanged, investors will be examining the committee's policy statement for any signs of monetary policy easing. And so a big day for the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 as all three indexes held onto their gains throughout the session and closed up well over 1%.
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